Financial News
Marathon Petroleum to lay off more than 2,000 employeesExternal Link

Marathon Petroleum Corp. said late Wednesday it will lay off more than 2,000 employees as it looks to cut costs amid less demand for gasoline and other oil derivatives with the ongoing pandemic. The layoffs and the "indefinite" idling of the company's refineries in Martinez, Calif., and Gallup, New Mexico, will affect about 2,050 employees, the company said. The layoffs and the open positions that the company decided to keep unfilled represent about 12% of its workforce, Marathon Petroleum said. Most employees will be notified on Thursday, Marathon said. The plan will result in severance charges between $125 million and $175 million in the third quarter, Marathon said. Shares of Marathon Petroleum were flat in the extended session Wednesday after ending the regular trading day down 0.3%.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2020 21:33:49 GMT
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Allstate to lay off employees, close offices in restructuring planExternal Link

Allstate Corp. will lay off employees and close offices in a restructuring plan expected to cost the company nearly $300 million, mostly incurred in the third quarter. The goal is to increase Allstate's share in the personal property and liability market "by expanding customer access, improving customer value and investing in marketing and technology," the company said in a statement. Esurance and Allstate brands have merged operations, and Allstate is trying to offer "competitive" prices in auto insurance, which requires cost reductions to maintain margins, it said. About 3,800 employees, mostly in claims, sales, service and support roles, will be affected, Allstate said. "Implementing this plan is difficult as we still deal with the impact of the pandemic but necessary to provide customers the best value," Chief Executive Tom Wilson said in a statement. Support for the employees include prioritizing internal hiring, extending medical coverage, expanding retraining support and helping in employment searches, Wilson said. The restructuring will result in charges around $290 million, with about $210 million to $220 million in the third quarter. The charges will reduce both net income and adjusted net income, and are primarily due to severance and employee benefits as well as expenses related to office closures, the company said. Shares of Allstate were flat in the extended session Wednesday after ending the regular trading day up 0.8%.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2020 21:03:40 GMT
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Starbucks raises dividend by 10%External Link

Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday that its board has approved a 10% dividend increase to 45 cents a share. The dividend will be paid on Nov. 27 to shareholders of record on Nov. 12. The increase boosts the company's annual dividend rate to $1.80 a share. "The board's decision to raise our quarterly dividend demonstrates confidence in the strength of our recovery and the robustness of our long-term growth model," Chief Executive Kevin Johnson said in a statement. "Our cash flow generation is strong, and we remain committed to reducing our financial leverage while continuing to invest for future growth." Starbucks started paying dividend in 2010 and has increased it for the past decade. Shares of Starbucks fell 0.2% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day up 1.3%.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:40:14 GMT
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Dow industrials close about 330 points higher as Wall Street holds out hope for fresh round of coronavirus stimulusExternal Link

U.S. stocks finished the session higher Wednesday, shaking off an unsettling presidential debate, to focus on the prospects of a new round of economic stimulus to help Americans and businesses climb from out of the depths of the coronavirus crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed by about 330 points, or 1.2%, higher at 27,781, on a preliminary basis. The S&P 500 index finished up 0.8%, led by a 1.7% rally in health care , a 1.2% gain in financials and a 1.2% rise in consumer staples ; while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session up 0.7% on the session. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to forge a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a coronavirus relief package but the pair vowed to continue discussions in an attempt to make headway on a package. In corporate news, shares of data company Palantir Technologies finished the session up 31% in its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks began the day on an unsteady footing as investors parsed the import of a mostly acrimonious presidential debate performance between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:10:18 GMT
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U.S. oil futures climb as U.S. supplies fall a third week, but prices end lower for the monthExternal Link

U.S. oil futures rose on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported a third straight weekly decline in crude supplies. Prices, however, ended lower for the month and tallied a modest quarterly gain as COVID-19 continued to feed concerns over a slowdown in energy demand. "It is the same story with oil as rising coronavirus cases fuel concerns over slowing global growth and pace of demand recovery," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "As long as there is no working vaccine against the coronavirus menace, oil remains threatened by negative demand-side factors." November West Texas Intermediate crude rose 93 cents, or 2.4%, to settle at $40.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Based on the front-month contracts, prices fell 5.6% for the month, but inched up by 2.4% for the quarter, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2020 18:57:50 GMT
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